CODA Star Troy Kotsur to Lead Disney+ Series Based on True Story of Deaf High School Football Team

Disney+ is developing a series based on the football team from the California School for the Deaf Riverside (CSDR) with Troy Kotsur attached to play the team’s coach, Variety has learned.

ABC Signature has partnered with CSDR, their football program, and the the California Department of Education to develop the untitled series for Disney+. The show will tell the true story of the CSDR Cubs’ 2021 football season, when the team went undefeated and got all the way to the California State Championship.

The series will portray the students, teachers, and their families. The writing and production team, both in front of and behind the cameras, will include artists from the Deaf community.

Ron Shelton is attached to write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce, with Ben Shelton also set to write and executive produce. Kotsur will executive produce in addition to starring. Kevin Falls will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Marlee Matlin is also an executive producer along with Bert Salke, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, Rainn Wilson, Jack Jason, Bill Horberg, and Christina Lurie. John Maucere,  an alumnus of CSDR, will consult and co-produce. ABC Signature is the studio.

Kotsur is best known for his role in the 2021 coming-of-age film “CODA.” For his work in the film, he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor, making him only the second deaf actor to win an Academy Award. The first was Matlin. He also won the BAFTA, SAG, and Critics Choice Award for “CODA.” Kotsur’s other credits include films like “The Number 23” and shows like “The Mandalorian,” “Criminal Minds,” and “Scrubs.”

In an interview with Variety following his Oscar win, Kotsur said that he was excited to explore more opportunities in front of the camera now that he is more well-known.

“Well, there are several action-adventure-type scripts, several historical figures,” he said. “We’ve had such a rich history in the Deaf community. We’ve had tragedy, we’ve had success, but no one knows about these stories. They’ve been ignored for so long. I want to bring forth this treasure trove of storytelling.”

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